Buying a home is part of the American Dream, and just about every person dreams about the day that they’ll be able to pull up to their own home that they can build up equity in rather than paying rent to someone else. It can seem very hard for first-time home buyers to go through the process of moving from being a renter to an owner. The good news is that there are programs out there specifically designed to help people achieve their goal of being a homeowner. There are grants available that you may qualify for that will assist you in buying a home.


There are several conditions that can make a person eligible for a grant to buy a home. Often, these eligibility conditions are things like being a first-time home buyer, being a veteran or active duty military, a recent college graduate, or working in a particular field, such as being a teacher or a police officer. Some may require a particular heritage, such as the Native American Direct Loan. There may also be eligibility conditions regarding the home itself, such as the requirements needed for the Energy Efficient Mortgage or EEM grant, or the area where the home is located, such as local homebuyer grants offered by cities, counties, and states.

Read the Fine Print

It can be valuable to read the fine print for any grant you may be considering as they may have terms and conditions that you wouldn’t find with other mortgage loan programs. For instance, some may require that you live in the home that you purchase for a set amount of time before you sell it for your next home. One program that requires a minimum amount of time living in a home is the Good Neighbor Next Door program. This is a program offered that puts people in careers that help the community, such as EMTs, and helps with mortgage loans for these homebuyers in areas that are considered as being revitalized in the region. The effort of this program is to continue to improve the community, and keeping that in mind, this program requires that the homebuyers stay in the home for 36 months.

Additional Programs

In addition to the Native American Direct Loan, the Energy Efficient Mortgage, and the Good Neighbor Next Door program, there are several more programs you can explore for getting the best chance possible in buying a new home.

There is the Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance grant. It can be for up to 2.5 or 5 percent of the price of your home. It does have the downside of a potentially higher interest rate, but when weighing the amount you save on the price, it may be well-worth it. This requires you to stay in the home for seven years after you’ve purchased it, and after the seven years are up, the cost is forgiven. Another potential grant for you is the Grants for Grads Program. This works in the same manner as the Your Choice program with the seven-year limit. One nice thing is that the amount you’ll need to repay if you move sooner than seven years is prorated based on the amount of time you lived in the home purchased.

Another program is the Mortgage Tax Credit. This program doesn’t help with the down payment or closing costs as some of the other grant programs listed here, but it does help with your annual tax bill. This credit will help to reduce the taxes that you’ll have to pay to the federal government.

Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program geared towards helping homebuyers in more rural areas. Some may overlook this particular program thinking that they have to purchase a farm to be eligible, but that’s not the case. This program is great because it doesn’t require a down payment and features fixed loan payments. This can have some limits on the amount of money you can make, and the region that this loan program is available in.

A final note is not to overlook smaller, local programs that can also provide you with valuable information and be a good starting spot for finding a home. One program in Columbus is Homes on the Hill that has programs for down payment assistance and provides a selection of rehabbed homes to first time home buyers. These local programs and grants may not provide a large amount towards your new home, but every little bit can help with trying to purchase your first home.

Professional Mortgage Advice

Speaking with me can be helpful in finding out what grant programs you are eligible to apply for in your search for a new home. Our team may know of programs that you haven’t heard of previously or give you the lowdown on what you can expect from going through a grant. This is a great conversation to have in the beginning of the process. Let’s have that talk!

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